Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My last day at Fidani

MIHAS just ended!

The time has come. Today is my last day with the company and the farewell party was carried out yesterday at the office. It wasn't exactly how I planned and until this very minute, I am still working on the proposals and answering clients' email. There's about 2 unfinished project which I have just started after tendering my resignation 3 months ago.

It was a long story and I guess I've been talking about leaving months ago here and finally on the 2nd week of April, I did it after my assistant tendered hers on 1st April. What a big joke huh? Actually when I wrote the post "rethinking", I have already been drafting my resignation letter. Finally I put the talk into action and the thing is, never look back when you have decided. No one in the company believe that I would leave until a week or two ago when I told them that I am really not staying back.

I still haven't packed. Look at my messy room!

I've worked here almost 3 years come 21st July and it's indeed sad to leave everything that I've built and nurtured for 3 long years. I see Fidani grew by 30% every year and I must say although it's not a great achievement, that's the best I can do with just my assistant and myself in the sales & marketing team. What I really miss is my clients. I love all of them because the key clients I have are the nicest of the buyers I've ever met and knowing that the company have not found someone to take over my responsibilities is just worrying because there'll be no one to take care of their orders.

I'll miss working with Wei Mei!!!

I have a fun time working there. There's just so much to do and learn. I've met people I never dreamt of meeting and chocolate has brought me so far. Friends call me "choc babe" or simply "choc" which is a better name to remember than "eiling" and I cannot imagine myself leaving this industry. Marketing handmade chocolates is really challenging but I love it because I have the passion for product development and packaging development. I think I will miss my best lady designer, interior designer and printers.

Farewell Lunch at the office!

My colleagues aka the production staff are a bunch of fun people too although sometimes I get angry at them for careless mistakes. After all that, we are still friends and we're just like a big family. These people I tell you, they are such good cooks. Everytime we do a party at the office, everyone gets a chance to show off their culinary skills and all I did was to eat! They all are qualified to open a restaurant and not a chocolate boutique! heheh....

Since I haven't finished packing, I'll be back to the office on Friday to handover my responsibilities to the factory manager whom is doing a 2 persons' job cos Wei Mei & I left together. We'll be shopping in Singapore tomorrow!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Watching World Cup @ Imbi Palace KL

After slaving myself for the whole day on Sunday until 8pm, I can finally have an enjoyable evening of good company of friends, wines, food and football! It was a much awaited clash between England and Germany after these two teams managed to get into the round of final sixteen. My cash was on Germany and thus I have to watch this game.

We had a comfortable private dining room at Imbi Palace to watch the game while having our dinner. At 8.30pm, we started with the appetizers and a bottle of blanc from Chateau Chasse-Spleen 2006. The name means "to chase away the blues" and it is the leading estate of Moulis, a small commune on the left bank of the Gironde, sandwiched in the No Man's Land between St Julien to the north and Margaux to the south. It's a very nice blanc with fruity notes and it's easy drinking.

I'm glad we started with a light white wine because the food that follows is indeed a little heavy on tastes. We had a giant clam with lots of garlic which is actually not very suitable to be paired with wine. I hate garlic and so I only ate the clam. Next, we had a soupy chicken with rice wine which is a very popular chinese dish that uses a lot of ginger and yellow glutinous rice wine and was served during post natal to get rid of the "wind". This dish is also known as Drunken Chicken since rice wine is used to cook this dish but so far, I've not gotten drunk on drinking this soup yet. Actually I don't like this dish because of the ginger but you know what? Imbi Palace does this dish exceptionally well! The secret lies in the rice wine. I finished the whole bowl! The sizzling stone grill egglant with fish paste is commendable.

Wild Boar Curry

The wild boar curry is a must order dish. It used to be a pre-order dish but now they have it permanently in the menu. It's cooked in a south indian curry way and the wild boar meat is tender and has robust curry flavours. I absolutely love this!!

Beef Slices with Beansprout

This is a very nice and light dish to go with red wines. The beef slices are medium well and served with beansprouts, chilli, spring onions and soya sauce. It was good but it's just that I was disappointed that they were not getting big fat juicy beansprouts from Ipoh.

M Chapoutier Les Varonniers & Les Granits

The Les Varroniers Crozes Ermitage 2007 is a Syrah and this is a Rhone wine.

Colour : Deep garnet.
Nose : Red fruit and blackcurrants and some hints of cocoa.
Mouth : Powerful tannins, fresh and fruity.

Then we had the Les Granits Saint Joseph 2006. This is the selection of their oldest Syrah roots in the birthplace of the Saint Joseph appellation.

Colour : Dark garnet.
Nose : Blackberries and pepper.
Mouth : Smoky, peppered notes. Very strong tannins with a long finish.

I found the 2007 a very elegant, easy drinking wine and the 2006 a much more robust and big wine.

This is a daring, different and biodynamic wine. The labels have Braille on it and Braille has been present since 1996 on all M. CHAPOUTIER labels. The trademark pays tribute to this man but also expresses the desire to reach out to and include all people with sight-impairments, lovers of good wines.. To promote eco-friendliness, wax is used instead of the usual foil wrappers.

There's no point promoting this wine as the allocation is small. The worst thing was, a friend of mine has already bought the whole allocation and therefore I need to be very nice to him to be able to drink this again! Hmmph!

I was happy to be able to catch the GER vs ENG clash as it was a fast paced game. Maybe it should be called a young men vs old men match as I can see that England is consistently playing badly at the World Cup. I pity ENG for the disallowed goal by Frank Lampard. Maybe they should have a flight to carry all the England and Italian players back to Europe! Too bad France has an early exit or else they can all fly back together.

It was a happy game of GER beats ENG 4-1 and ARG beats MEX 3-1.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Eiling's Ensalada

Since we are all into the World Cup frenzy, you'll need something to feast on while watching the game right? I have something nice for the coming Spain vs Portugal match!

In Spain, a green salad is like an obligatory dish on the table at mealtime. When dining out at a restaurant or perhaps preparing a special meal at home, an "ensalada mixta" or a colorful, mixed green salad is served on a large platter in the center of the table. But then, being asians, I guess we have more carbo and meats than greens. "Greens are only for cows and goats" as quoted by a particular friend.

However, I still find it very nice to be munching on salads than a meal full of meat and rice or noodles. One day, I was so enthusiatic about making my own dinner and salad was in my mind when I went for grocery shopping at Jaya's Grocer in Empire (Subang Jaya) after lunch. I picked up a box of green leaves, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and two slices of thick French ham. As I have some leftovers of apricot in my fridge, I thought it was no harm to add some of it into my salad. For this time, I decide to go against the traditional Spanish salad that includes tuna and olives by including French ham and apricot.

I used two type of sauces for this salad. First I pour some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar and then followed by two spoonfuls of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. The previous salad I made has got green apples in it but this one I had the apricot. After adding the sauces, just give it a toss and it's ready to serve!

This is also the perfect meal for when you're busy watching football!

I don't like to watch football at the mamak shops as I like the comfort of my own opium chair at home. So, a having a salad to munch while watching football is way healthier than having 2 glasses of teh tariks and a roti canai. Follow me on twitter if you haven't done so because I'm very into the World Cup updates too! Just read that Cacau will be out of the England clash. The Stuttgart forward suffered an abdominal muscle strain during training yesterday. I'm waiting to watch my favourite team Argentina up against Mexico tomorrow!!!

Check out this cool football website too where you can "gear" up with football online memorabilia such as desktop wallpapers, ringtones and online games here. Start your collection of 8 limited edition Celcom Blue Bears from 17th May to 11th July! Then, you can be in the running of taking home RM10,000 daily!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Random Updates

Cheers with free coffee

The MIHAS exhibition is still ongoing. It was really a tiresome event and I had to answer so many enquiries! It's like repeating the song like a broken record player. But we all had fun. A few of my ex colleagues came and visited us. Even the suppliers were there.

And we had endless servings of free food like fried chicken, noodles, satay and coffee FTW!

People from Kazakshtan.

Speaking of which, I've really got a few posts to catch up with. I had some really nice wine dinners recently and I haven't have time to blog about it. Will be updating soon!

Stephen Dew, winemaker of Kaesler Wines from Barrossa Valley.

The grand Ornellaia, Super Tuscan wines from Italy.

That's all for today folks. Ciao!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A week of Hell and Heaven

I know I have been quite morbid for the past week and if you have been following my twitter, you would also realise that I've been tweeting about the Nirvana Memorial Centre and the burning of effigy for my grandma. It's going to be a week of hell and heaven to me this week as I will be working 9 days non stop in a row with Saturday and Sunday from morning till 7pm.

Like what I've written earlier, work was inevitable and even when my grandma was lying in that coffin, I still went to work because I was fully in charge of the current MIHAS exhibition going on in Matrade at Jalan Duta from 23rd to 27th of June 2010. It's the biggest Halal exhibition and it was my 3rd time setting up the Fidani booth.

Wei Mei & the unfinished booth

I have a different theme and design every year. Last year I had a double decker booth here but due to the limited budget for this year, I have to settle for a simple booth like this which also costs RM25k for the fixtures excluding the 10k rental fees. This year, the big boss wants to concentrate only on corporate and wedding orders but instead, we've got quite a number of export inquiries.

I cut my finger while trying to set up the foldaway table. So useless of myself.

This guy scares me. When I was setting up the booth, he walked over and asks if he could take a picture with me and I said, errr... ok and then I regretted the decision because not only he took a picture with me, he held my hand and asks if he could kiss me. I said "hell no!!" and the next minute, he kissed my hair. Eeewwww.... I had to wash my hair with Clorox. When Wei Mei saw him passes by, she asks me to hide. LOL....

If you follow my twitter @ 3iling, you can see that I did a few updates today such as strangling the chocolate bunny and also holding a beautiful bouquet of chocolate roses. I will be updating from the exhibition centre as sometimes you get to see some amazing things that people do, for example, stealing my chocolates!

I wanted to tweet about our PM coming to our booth to sign on my newest chocolate box but the twitter wasn't working. I was just standing next to him and boy, the reporters are like a sea of people! Everything went by like a whizz.

There were some really funny incidents today. A foreign exhibitor came and asked if I was a chinese and I said yes, I'm a Malaysian Chinese and he said "wow, you are very beautiful and you don't look like the other Chinese" (I wasn't making that up and yes, that stroked my ego pretty well). Then another visitor came and talked to me and when I asked them what chocolates are they interested in, he told me that I am very beautiful. -_- And I served him some chocolates. Before he went off, he gave me his card and told me that I am better than the chocolates! heheh... I am not sure if I was selling myself or the chocolates.

This came as a surprise when the organisers told me that Fidani won the 1st prize for the best packaging award. It was indeed an honour to be winning this 3 years in a row. When the CEO of Matrade presented the trophy to me, he told me he wasn't surprised that we won it. I was taken aback when this morning, a judge came to my booth and asked me to impress her with my chocolate packaging and I did by promoting the Fidani Chocolate Tubos range. This is indeed a very good farewell gift for me.

And all the freebies I received minus the free food which has filled my stomach this afternoon!

And the heaven part was meeting friends that I only see once a year. Most of them are the exhibitors that I have befriended over the past 3 years and we get to see each other only at MIHAS once every year. But now with the BBM, I get to save their PIN and stay in touch. Cheers to BBM!

Monday, June 21, 2010

On the Burial Day...

Everyone seemed to be fine during the 3days of wake. But it was not until the last day when the last round of prayers are done in the morning before we send her to Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih, everyone couldn't hold back their tears and cried.

It was the most heart-wrenching moment when we circled grandma's coffin 5 rounds calling her name and asking her to rest in peace before we knelt down before the altar and the Taoist priest chanting while her coffin is being shut for good. I heard the musking tape being pulled and my tears just kept rolling down, knowing that it was the last sight of her.

After that, we all had to walk without shoes from the Nirvana Memorial Centre, to the bus and then to the graveyard. My uncles had to push the hearse which was an Estima about 100m while we followed behind until it reached the main road. After that, we got onto the bus and start our journey to Semenyih. We had to hire two buses due to the amount of relatives and visitors paying their last respects to grandma.

I was very touched that my wine drinking friends send my grandma a beautiful flower stand with flowers that even I have not seen before. But I was even more touched when one of my friends whom used to be my blog reader a few months ago and now a friend whom I've met less than a few times had come to pay his respects to grandma. I deeply appreciate this and I would like to thank everyone whom send me their deepest condolences to me and my family on the loss.

The Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih is indeed a very neat and nice cemetery. It doesn't give you the creeps and I am very happy that Grandma will be buried together with Grandpa whom my uncles had just moved his remains from Ipoh a couple of weeks ago. The service provided by Nirvana is indeed 5 star. There were canopy and umbrellas all ready for us when we arrived. Everything went on smoothly.

Grandma is 86 years old. I think her passing is for the better as her sufferings would end and she'll be moving on to another world. I also did a video to share it with my cousins whom is unable to make it back for grandma's burial.

RIP my Dearest Grandma...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Collect a Limited Edition Blue Bear

You've got a partner whom love bears?!! Since everyone is in a world cup fever, why not make the most out of it by grabbing a collectible Blue Bear and stand a chance to win RM10,000 daily?!!

It's so easy peasy la...

1. Just type BOLA and send to 22188
2. Reload up to RM30 and get a Collectible Blue Bear.

There will only be one winner for RM10,000 daily so collect the bears while stock lasts. Promotion is on from 17th May to 17th July 2010. More info here.


Friday, June 18, 2010

RIP my dearest grandma

Initially I wanted to write a light post for Friday but my grandma's sudden passing yesterday morning at 6am did gave me a shock when I woke up at 7am and received a call from my uncle breaking the news. I've written about my grandma being in coma months ago and finally after the doctor pestered us to discharge her after seeing that she could breathe on her own and opened her eyes, she passed away days after.

I think it was for the better. I'm glad that she doesn't need to go through anymore sufferings. Or could it be that she had the sixth sense that we were going to visit my grandpa's grave at Nirvana in Semenyih this Sunday after moving his remains from Ipoh 2 weeks ago and decided that she went as well?

After knowing the news, I did however went to work. I don't know if I was being rude but even I was there by her bed that morning, there was nothing I could do and because it was my last two weeks with the company, I had all my appointments all planned out to handover my job to the senior manager as the company has not found anyone to take over my responsibilities. I was also in charged of the MIHAS exhibition next week and I just couldn't excuse myself from all the workload.

I hope grandma understands me and forgive me by not being there with her earlier.

Mom & dad couldn't make it as they were both overseas. I as the eldest child will have to represent my parents at the funeral. It was held at Nirvana Memorial Center in Sungai Besi and I must say that this is my first time partaking in a prayer as a family member in a funeral. When I was 3 years old, my grandpa passed away and I couldn't remember much about then.

This place looks like a hotel and there's a nice, cosy and comfortable lounge area for visitors and family members. There's even 2 Gintell massage chairs if you have sore muscles and aching back. Refreshments are provided and they take care of every single detail professionally. All you need is to attend, and then pay!

The prayers will be held daily from 7.30pm to 11.30pm from Thursday to this Saturday 19th and on Sunday, it would be from 8.30am to 10.30am before sending her for burial in Nirvana Memorial Park in Semenyih.

RIP grandma.

Obituary - Mdm Foo Kam Lan
Level 1, Room 18 (Lily)

No 1, Jalan 1/116A, Off Jalan Sungai Besi,
57100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: (603) 7981 8899
Location map here.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Erawan Part II

Ever since I revealed my favourite secret location for my usual Thai fix in one of the previous post, my sister has been blaming me for not taking her there. Last weekend was very timely as I was having my off day on Saturday and I felt like having a full day of eating out. We started with dim sum at Imperial China in Subang Jaya for brunch and then Snowflake at SS15 before making reservation at Erawan for dinner.

Lucky last Saturday wasn't crowded at Erawan. As usual, Anan came and took our orders and he told me that I was in luck because someone pre-ordered a Lemongrass Chicken and since he made extras, I can tap on the order.

Wow, I must say that the Lemongrass Chicken (RM32) was really good. The taste of lemongrass was intense and I can tell that this chicken is very well-marinated and nicely roasted. It goes very well with the Thai chili sauce as well as their home made sauce. Pre-order is required by at least 24 hours.

He also introduced a Pomelo Salad (RM25) for our appetiser. It was indeed a very interesting salad as you get generous amounts of freshly imported pomelo, laden with crushed peanuts, coriander and 3 huge succulent prawns. The sauce that accompanied the salad compliments it very well. It's a very refreshing appetiser.

We ordered a different green curry this time. It's called the Green Curry Fish Paste with Salted Egg (RM32). This curry has 5 fish paste balls (made purely with ikan tenggiri) and stuffed with Thai salted egg yolk. The curry is not too spicy and it's quite interesting to have salted egg yolk with curry. I thought it might taste weird but it didn't.

Ziling wanted the Thick Tom Yum soup (RM30) with seafood. I usually order their clear tom yum and spiciness rating is capped at 1.5. Calvin wanted to a rating of 5 but I stopped him because obviously I can't stomach that. After trying the soup, Calvin had changed his mind about having it at level 5. Haha... We didn't really enjoy the thick soup as it was too milky.

Calvin & his obligatory dessert

The Lim Sistas

The dinner was very satisfying. We managed to gobbled up the 6 dishes and a dessert. Together with the Lemongrass with Honey & Ginger juice, the bill came up to RM200. It's not cheap but at least I have no complaints. After that we head home to catch the World Cup match.

I was watching my favourite team - Argentina up against Nigeria. Wow, I must say that the goalkeeper for Nigeria was quite good. If not, the score wouldn't be 1:0 because Argentina has lots of near-goal-attempts. Too bad that most of the interesting matches is played at 2.30am and I am not quite ready to sacrifice my sleep. I'll probably do it when it comes to the quarter or semi-finals.

To gear up for the World Cup fever, besides following some of the interesting matches, I did show my support for the team by having a Twibbon on my avatar of my Twitter. Follow me on twitter if you haven't done so and I'll be posting updates on the matches now and then! Why don't you get yourself hyped up for the World Cup too and you can decorate your computer with wallpapers and have cool ringtones by just checking up on this website. Start your collection of 8 limited edition Celcom Blue Bears from 17th May to 11th July! And be in the running of taking home RM10,000 daily! There's also the Electro vs Hip Hop this Saturday, 19th June at Sunway Pyramid Opera featuring DJ Fuzz & DJ Xu brought to you by XPLAY. You can ONLY get your exclusive FREE invitation from the Xpax Facebook. Are you going?

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